Friday, 23 October 2020

Coronavirus: some areas move to greater restrictions

Amendment Regulations were made by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on 22 October and are mostly in force from Friday 23 October 2020. The Regulations move a number of areas into a higher coronavirus alert level. For example, Greater Manchester moved from Level 2 (High) to Level 3 (Very High).

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Local COVID-19 Alert Level) (Medium, High and Very High) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 - SI 2020/1154.

Legislation for the 3 levels of alert:

and see previous post of 13 October 2020.

A very helpful website is Kings Chambers - Living in Tier 3: Useful links and guidance for individuals and families and Useful links for business and The Latest Covid Regulations Practical Guidance

Financial support and political rancour:

The government has published details of Financial support for businesses and self-employed persons/

22 October 2020 - Statement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer announcing an increase in support measures

Politically, the financial support for Greater Manchester was the subject of rancorous exchanges between the Mayor of Greater Manchester (Mr Andy Burnham) and the government - Politics Home 20 October and Statement of 20 October 2020 by Mayor of Greater Manchester following the conclusion of talks with the government on Tier 3 restrictions for the city-region

See also BBC News 22 October - How much money are tier 3 areas getting? and  The Guardian 21 October - South Yorkshire leaders condemn 'tawdry' tier 3 process.

The financial support on offer to business impacted adversely by Covid restrictions stands alonsgide the enormous sums of public money handed to companies such as Serco for the track and trace system - The Guardian 16 October - Serco profits surge thanks to Coivd-19 test-and-trace contract

The Guardian 22 October 2020 reports that "Boris Johnson and his chief scientific adviser have admitted to failings in England’s £12bn test-and-trace system as contact-tracing fell to a new low and waiting times for test results soared to almost double the target."

Also in the political arena was a House of Commons vote on free school meals for disadvantaged children - see In Your Area - Find out how your MP voted. A motion to feed more than 1.4 million children during school breaks until Easter next year was voted down in Parliament on Wednesday evening. The bid, tabled by Labour, was defeated by 322 votes to 261 - a majority of 61.  See the Hansard record of the debate and voting.

It is reported that - "Scores of councils have pledged to feed disadvantaged children over the school holidays as they joined a wave of public support for a campaign led by the England and Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford.

Amid growing outrage over the government’s refusal to extend free school meals in England next week, Conservative-controlled Kensington and Chelsea council and Birmingham city council, the UK’s biggest local authority, were among those stepping into the breach.

A groundswell of cafes, businesses, charities and community groups also said they would donate food during half-term next week and over the Christmas holidays, inspired by Rashford’s campaign to end child food poverty" - The Guardian 23 October 2020

National Audit Office - Covid 19 Cost Tracker

Statement of 20 October 2020 by Mayor of Greater Manchester following the conclusion of talks with the government on Tier 3 restrictions for the city-region

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